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A New Tool in the Toolbox
The Grand Bargain to Give the West Back Its Mojo

Universal Basic Income can incentivize risk taking and help combat regulatory capture.

Published on: December 18, 2017
Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and columnist with The American Interest.
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    Or you could just reverse the cause of job loss and wage depression. Unfair trade and easy outsourcing, as well as illegals at home. All the result of specific [bad] policy. Nothing about it has been inevitable or is irreversible. At a cost millions of jobs and mass unemployment that depresses wages its time to reverse course.

    • CheckYourself

      Right. Free market capitalism doesn’t work out too well when your the only guy in the room doing it. If we are willing to entertain a change, maybe a blast from the past, why not be more mercantistic as the West was, and particularly America, on its raise. Works for China today. Do you know why? Because best practices are best practices. Period

    • Unelected Leader

      Yeah those things depress wages, and then there’s the value of the dollar. It does get pushed artificially high by major purchases of USD denominated assets, or by “Investing” some of America’s trade deficit dollars back into the US..usually to buy up some US company with its own deficit dollars and then dissect it.

      Go to the supposedly No. 2 economy in China. Largest denomination is 100 rmb, and that 100rmb note is worth about 15 bucks. Yeah we’ve got a major problem.

  • QET

    As far as the USA goes, is this UBI to replace and be in lieu of Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, Medicaid, food stamps, college tuition grants and supports, of in addition to it? If the latter–how, exactly, will it be financed? Will it have the felicitous result of removing 90% of non-defense government employees from their jobs, seeing that it will no longer be necessary for government to employ people as a form of welfare? What if people spend their UBI on drink, or drugs, or lose it playing fantasy football? What if they spend it buying assault rifles? Can they donate any of it to political candidates? Even Trump??

    Or are these questions and the thousands of others like them simply beside the point?

  • Everett Brunson

    You bet, let’s just ignore human weakness entirely and just give everybody a paycheck. My God.

    This whole thing raises the questions–do economists really understand economies? Do sociologists really understand sociology? My take here is–no to both.

    • D4x

      While assessing the dilemma of graphic designers and STEM icons, which was a diversion from assessing the effectiveness of a nation’s postage stamps as public diplomacy, I found this Infographic, whose creator decided that the Social Sciences, including economics and sociology, are Real Science, just like chemistry and physics:

      Some day, I shall share the story of how Enron went under because they relied on an economic price forecast, for a specific intermediate goods product that Enron had sold futures contracts for, a scientific forecast by Real Economists with phDs, whose forecast was always wrong in the 1990’s, because that forecast was generated by a computer model that required a recession. It is quite a story. The people from Enron who called me in 2001, to ask why that forecast was always wrong? a) they called me because my no-computer model for the price forecast of same exact commodity had been accurate during the 1990’s, and b) they all got fired over the weekend, so the scheduled conference call disappeared, but I still have their email as to time and date.

      The real reason Enron went under was because they booked future profits, based on those forecasted prices, as current quarter profits in their SEC filings. I do not know if that SEC ‘rule’ was ever fixed, because Enron had ended my forecasting career in 2000, and I spent 2000-2002 trying to start my own business, and then decided to retrain ti teach history and geography.

      Disclosure: I did NOT read this TAI post on UBI. fwiw, India won 1st prize for postage stamps; Israel was 1st runner-up; and the USPS artists have been brainwashed by politically correct Identity Politics, which is why I started looking at STEM iconography.
      America is toast.

      • Everett Brunson

        I admit I’m a barbarian. To me stamps were something you had to lick in order to get the bill payment from your house to their house. I did like the artwork on the stamp with the bamboo and ribbons.

        As to STEM, the poster gave me a good laugh. The bottom right corner had an icon for Education Sciences. American Thinker had an article yesterday written by a college professor who quit the game for the usual reasons-PC Climate, befuddled Administration, ignorant and obnoxious students. Just about any article in AT results in 40 to 80 comments. When I looked last night the comment total was above 800. A number were from ex-teachers of course.

        The comments about the ridiculous educational theories they had to endure–even going back to the seventies–reinforced to me that the experts have no clue how to properly educate a child. Much like the experts at Enron worshiping at the alter of computer algorithms. Lord save us from the experts.

        • D4x

          Good catch “Education Sciences” (!)

          Today was an epiphany. TNI’s post on the new National Security strategy got me to research foreign policy pundit ‘schools’, because wigwag at TAI had commented in August how TAI and TNI were products of a ‘divorce’.
          I started with ‘Heilbrun Fukuyama’ Short version? 12 01 1999: when I was too busy working to be aware of Norman Podhoretz. That URL is not complete text, but, a great read. Had I read it in 1999, would have saved this 2017 year of anger & confusion, possibly changed my path when my career ended in 2000. aahhh, no do-overs. Still glad I finally studied history 2003-05 in grad school, even though the teaching job was denied. It was my 1969-73 college do-over.

          You need an infographic to map the strands of foreign policy ‘schools’, which is why so many media pundits are mostly bi-partisan NeverTrumpers in foreign policy. Perhaps we are fighting the wrong obstructors. from 1999:

 [,,,] With the cold war over, everyone seemed at sea where foreign policy was concerned. Against whom were we now supposed to be defending ourselves, or maintaining our military strength to deter, or, if all else failed, to fight? China, which was still Communist? Iran, which was still wildly anti-American? Terrorism, stemming from the Islamic world?

          Each of these was nominated for the now-vacant position of chief danger, but there was nothing remotely approaching even the shaky and unstable agreement over the Soviet threat that had guided American foreign
          policy since the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947.[…]

          Since I think the #1 Danger to America is Academia, might as well let too many useful idiots of the media and punditry troll themselves out of their cushy jobs.
          I would share more, but not in this thread.

          • Everett Brunson

            I just finished reading the Podhoretz article but will have to read it again–possibly more than that. It dredged up many, many memories–too many to sort them out properly. It does answer a number of questions however.

            I had a hard time reconciling our involvement in the Balkans. In that I think I shared Churchill’s view that it was a place to be avoided at all costs. I also remembered thinking at the time that as evil as we wished to term them, people like Tito (and similarly Saddam Hussein) kept angry, divergent peoples contained, and that every time we got rid of men like that chaos ensued. I guess you could add the Shah of Iran to the list as well as Gamal Nasser. So why we should have a hard on for Slobodan Milosevic as as he was trying to consolidate the power vacuum following Tito’s death was a conundrum for me.

            At the same time, I also chalk up my intransigence on the humanitarian mission to Kosovo to my extreme dislike of Bill Clinton. Both reasons intertwine to the extent I cannot separate them. And then there was his avoidance of doing anything in Rwanda. I remember asking myself why the one and not the other? I felt it was me missing puzzle pieces more than pointing fingers at others.

            While Saddam should serve as a reminder of what happens when we topple non-democratic governments another would be Qaddafi in Libya. What profits us to remove a leader like that only to abandon the country to the chaos that ensues? That is a major reason that I have always been against liberal “holy” wars. They hurt for more people than they help and leave us looking like fools to the rest of the world.

            As prescient as this article is for 1999, I wonder if anyone feels differently about China’s non-expansion policy as it seems that policy no longer exists? Economically, politically, and soon militarily China will flex its muscles (even more than they have done now). I do not believe that their collective memory is so short as to forgive the west the subjugation of their country by the British and Dutch oh so long ago.

            AND WHY OH WHY do the liberal contingents hate Russia so yet still embrace the PRC as some long lost friend? December 2016 and January, February 2017 I thought if they could manufacture a pretext to nuke Moscow the left would have done so with glee! Though not addressed at all by the Podhoretz article, is it that they cannot forgive Russia’s failure to continue as a communist state? A cynical question not worthy of an answer.

            More later or this runs the risk of turning into a book. ; )

          • D4x

            Milosevic was/is no Tito, but there is a holy church geography in Kosovo angle. Did you read Samantha Power’s genocide Problem from He$$, book? That was foundational to the Responsibility to Protect, R2P, invoked by Sarkozy re: Libya, because the UN adopted R2P as a justification for military action. The ‘leading from behind’ descriptor was because Sarkozy had launched first airstrikes to protect Benghazi, and that forced the USA/NATO support – only the USA can refuel, AWACS, etc. It was Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview for The Atlantic, and it was his phrase ‘lead from behind’ – I remember reading that interview, and that phrase emerged from that. The other dilemma was that several Arab nations were pressuring Obama to take Q out. Libya was put together on a napkin after 1919 Versailles, a loose end so Italy could sign the Treaty. Cyrenaica was once part of Egypt, still have cross-border tribes. Still think Egypt should annex it- they need the oil revenue, but I tend to redraw maps that make historic sense.

   was when I wrote about China. The deleted comments were a troll who admitted in his comments that he was North Korean. He was very arrogant, which is a problem for China. As for why the left loves China? My theory is the food, and they deliver. Russia and the American public is complicated since 1917. I wonder if every nation needs an OTHER. This is not helping my pressing need to be offline. Just too much fun, finally to have someone to talk with about these topics.

          • Everett Brunson

            I wonder if every nation needs an OTHER.

            Jane Goodall wrote something years ago that has stuck with me. In one of her books she wrote about the behavior of the Chimp tribe she had been studying in regards to another tribe of Chimps that lived across a small watercourse. Each day upon arising and before eating each of the two tribes would make their way to the small stream dividing the two territories to hurl rocks, sticks, and insults at the other. Following this ritual they would return to the feeding grounds for breakfast. Food and water supplies were not at issue as both tribes had more than adequate supplies. But this whole “you stay on your side of the line and we will stay on ours–OR ELSE” behavior struck me as rather human. Or turning it around, the human behavior of needing to have some kind of rival, some kind of OTHER is rather primal.

          • D4x

            re: the Other? Sports worked for a long time.
            Russia? McCain and Romney sure stuck in Cold War. They see another Stalin, but Putin aspires to Peter & Catherine the Greats. My implicit bias? Three Saabs since 1976. Will never forgive Sweden’s government for denying sale of Saab to Russians. Am finally reading Peter the Great, at 1700. Finally realize Sweden’s decision about Saab was their revenge for Poltava, not just better permitting for IKEA.

            America’s true weakness is ignorance of the military histories and physical geographies of these much older nations, amplified by forty years of ‘new’ historiography. Even though my study of the Greeks and Romans is thin, I am glad SecMattis is steeped in the Classics. America has two generations of ignorance to defend, with a 70-year old ‘LIO’ architecture that was utopian by design. Fortunately, someone at DoD knows how to site the OIR bases in Syria and KRG. In Syria, it probably helped to have the ruins of Byzantium on the Euphrates. It’s like watching the 6th-13th centuries replay.

            TAI still deliberately uses photos without reference. My complaint at PJM got them to be more careful. That’s all – because a lot is happening in both Kurdistans, TAI can build a new subscriber base with the various trolls they now attract to their propaganda site.
            No time for more edits.

          • Everett Brunson

            I thoroughly enjoyed Massie’s Peter the Great as well as his Catherine the Great. On a trip to St. Petersburg we got to visit both Peter’s and Catherines palaces as well as the Hermitage. What amazed me was the great lengths the Soviets went to, to totally restore the city, palaces, and the museum after the war. The wood floors of the Hermitage had been torn up for firewood, but were all restored to former glory. Still wonder what happened to the Amber Room. They have a war memorial museum on the island (Peter and Paul Fortress) that lays out the full siege.–lots of photos and military equipment. Amazing.

            We also took a side trip to Novgorod. The Kremlin there is amazing too. We ate lunch in an original building attached to the outer wall. Beautiful view of the river.

            I also agree with assessment of Putin vis a vis Peter. He is a murderer and a crook, but also a man whose vision for Russia is very similar. Trump’s pragmatic view is fresh air. Though neither he nor Tillerson is giving Russia a pass, they are also willing to work in areas of common ground.

      • Everett Brunson

        I know you’ve probably played with this but it was eye opening for me. I was on the State cite this morning and was playing around with the per diem chart. I was looking at the various rates comparing Hotel vs meals (and the totals for both) by country and then by city.

        I found it funny that the per diem for Antartica is $0 for Hotel and $1 for meals. I know that is because all amenities are supplied by the bases there–but still funny.

        The highest rate paid is the Cayman Islands (not Tokyo, not London, and not Paris) at $588 for Hotel, $147 for meals= $735. Cannes France ($668) gets a higher per diem than Paris ($608).

        I would have thought that Hong Kong ($535) would be less expensive than Tokyo ($503) but evidently not.

        Angola was a surprise too–$505–the most expensive of all the African Nations.

        Anyway–it’s a pretty good snapshot of cost of visiting around the world. I wouldn’t have thought of using it when planning travel. My wife and I are considering a visit to Ecuador– Guayaquil area ($275) or to Argentina–Buenos Aires ($305) both of which compare well with Costa Rica and Belize where we have already traveled.

        • D4x

          Sorry, not expert enough to find per diems, although no reason to look for that. Counter-terrorism more likely DoD, tough site to navigate:

          DoD search results also bring up old links without dates, so look at the seven-digit part of the URL: Last time SecMattis in India 09 26 2017 – question asked, no details revealed:

          11 28 2017 – much more interesting presser on Afghanistan:
 but nothing on specific on India, indicator of DoD search engine.

          Re that presser on 11 28: so glad to see the Blackhawk UH-60 program I read about in August GAO report is on track. That was when I realized McCain (and media) was obstructing, because he was screaming for ‘detailed
          strategy in Afghanistan’ same week GAO issued the detailed report I had just read. Here we are, four months later, and the obstruction gets worse.

          • Everett Brunson

            Thanks, I will research it from a different direction. The thing that had me looking at India was an interview given by a retired Pakistani general who believes that a tactical nuke war with India is so inevitable that it could occur at any time. I got the impression from the article he was giving it with the tacit approval of the Pakistani gov’t. Pre-notice of intent as it were. With North Korea so much in the news I was surprised that little of this was in the news. As you’ve said the American press is very myopic when it comes to things that have very little domestic impact.

          • D4x

            Oh – Pakistan has talked about mini-nuke tank rounds in the next war with India for a few years. I remember tuning out the first time I read that, as it was something I had not contemplated, and Pakistan is totally capable of doing that. That is not counter-terrorism. That is 21st century tank, long-range artillery warfare. No future re-enactments of those battles…

          • Everett Brunson

            I know that P has saber rattled for years. In the article (which I stupidly didn’t book mark) the General was talking about full nuclear exchange, so I’m not sure he was talking about the tank tactical nukes. My thought on the counter terror partnership was US sending P subtle signal to back off.

            Though this isn’t the original article I read (it was from an Indian newspaper that I still haven’t refound) it contains comments by P’s new NSA General Janjua. In this piece he references the problems with rising terrorism against Pakistan because of P’s support of the US in Afghanistan. He also makes an oblique reference to the US giving India preference in the fight against terrorism over Pakistan. I read about the new India counter terrorism partnership in yet another Indian news paper and both articles came out at about the same time.
            Times of Islamabad Dec 18, 2017

            The lead up last year
            From Duck Duck Go
            The Sun Sept 2016
            Value Walk Jan 2017

          • D4x

            The US and India have defense agreements now – nukes would probably NOT be in counter-terror category. Used to be said Pakistan is a military with a country. Pakistan’s #1 OTHER: India. China uses Pakistan against China’s big OTHER: India. It is only past few years that it became a China ‘province’. India is China’s #1 Other, because India’ civilization is much older, yet has survived despite conquest after conquest. India was always open to trade.

            One issue I stopped keeping track of is whether USA military is still on the ground keeping track of Pakistan’s nukes., since China started basing tens of thousands of their troops in Pakistan for road and dam-building security in/near Jammu in the north, and the OBOR port in Baluchistan.

            Pakistan does have an ok media. Even the jobs in the GCC have been going to Indians. UAE has a Bollywood Theme Park. PM Modi did serious bilaterals with GCC in 2015-16. India’s Embassy in Riyadh has standard employment contract forms on line. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia made no such effort.

            Had to stop paying close attention in 2017, except on individual issues. So, no sharing Indo-Af-Pak URLS, sorry.
            Really behind on toDos. Lost 11 months trying to understand this malicious hysteria online, after being a silent reader for five years, with three moves, loss of every anchor, all my doctors retired 2007-16. The sleep disruption is deadlier than the external fundamental transformation since 2012.

  • Gary Hemminger

    This is the single worst idea I have ever heard. There is nothing good about this idea. This is what rich people think up to make themselves feel better about the have nots. Why do people even write these things that have no chance of actually happening? It is a mystery to me that will evidently never be solved.

    • Everett Brunson

      Gary, what bothers me is that this whole harebrained idea of a UBI keeps raising its head. Like many progressivist ideas, the more they tease it, pound it, promote it, the more attractive it becomes to the young and ill-informed. Already nearly a third of millennials find socialism to be more attractive than capitalism. Too, did you hear about that idiot science editor in Britain that said all she wanted for Christmas was communism? It is insane.

  • Loader2000

    I don’t usually comment, but the idea that a universal UBI will increase risk taking is utterly unproven, and, in my opinion, ridiculous and borderline comedic. The kinds of people who start successful businesses are generally the kinds of highly motivated people (in an economic sense) who work their butts off in the aspects of their life where they have a keen interest (which doesn’t necessarily include academics), and who have good common sense and the ability to handle stress. Generally speaking, these wouldn’t be the sorts who find themselves with crushing debt and drug addictions in the first place. The human instinct (a product of evolutionary biology) to expend the least energy possible on making a living is not one well understood by the lucky few who love their jobs. If people don’t have to work to have enough live, many wouldn’t work at all. I mean, this is just one level of the absurdity of the assumption upon which this post is based. I have to go back to work (because I need money to do the things I really like, like spend time with my family), so I don’t have to much time to spend commenting!!!

  • Joe Eagar

    There is a word for a social system where most people are financially dependent on a small elite. I wonder what it is. .

    The West has nearly century of experience in using money to buy off troublesome parts of the population. It doesn’t work. In practice what you get is class apartheid (or the maintenence of racial apartheid, as probably happened with the Great Society)

    • Jim__L

      Feudalism? More than a century of experience with that, in most parts of the world.

  • Anthony

    Have not read essay but idea (UBI) is not new (dates back centuries) and may in its present guise really mask current form of Corporate Liberalism and its Captives (Martin Sklar) – an idea that the modern state does not necessarily work for individual capitalists but more broadly to buttress capitalism’s long-term sustainability. Nevertheless, for those interested here are two other discussions on UBI: universal/

  • Heather Beresford

    This sounds like Nancy Pelosi saying that Obamacare would allow people to leave their jobs and follow their passions, which was apparently what the Founders had in mind all along. The government would provide their healthcare. I wonder how many people actually did that?

    • Jim__L

      Good thing that instead of the government providing consumables, the government simply provided cut-rate capital goods (in the form of land) which allowed hardworking people to build lives and a country for themselves.

      No way that would happen if you took the hunger motivation away.

      • Joe Eagar

        Redistribution of income is a myth; one can redistribute capital, but redistributing consumption is impossible. The incentive-fueled fall in productivity more than offsets the temporary rise in income.

        • Jim__L

          Very true. If these people simply aren’t working, they do not contribute to the GDP.

          The focus should be on **getting people working again**. Disruptive innovation, where 10 people put 10,000 people out of work and make 100x the money in the process, needs to be discouraged in times of high unemployment.

  • Marathon-Youth

    I used to be against universal income but not anymore. If we are wealthy enough a standard check to all is fine with me. That UBI should not displace jobs or those seeking education in order to get better jobs. It should not replace pensions or any other source of income. But when we have an economy of “runaway” wealth in the hands of a few then UBI for the rest makes sense.

    • Marathon-Youth

      In addition when we have a system such as the Federal Reserve that prints money out of thin air simply because the Dollar is one of the major currencies of exchange then yes UBI makes sense here in America.

    • Joe Eagar

      And where will the goods to buy come from? America doesn’t have enough housing, quality schools and healthcare because people have used politics to limit supply. No amount of financial redistribution will make housing affordable in blue cities when the supply is limited. It’s a similar situation with education and healthcare. What will people spend UBI on? Cheap consumables?

      • Marathon-Youth

        The restructuring of our economy is one of the main problems. The Federal Reserve was meant to prevent economic crashes. it was meant to stabilize. It did neither. the worst crashes happened after 1913 and in 1929. We shouldn’t have a runaway debt or 1.3 trillion in credit card debt. We are already living way beyond our salaries. Each credit card transaction is a high interest loan.
        Usury is out of control. We shouldn’t have interest rates that bankrupt families. and we shouldn’t have a few who amass so much. But we do. none of that is by happenstance, It is deliberate
        Every problem I have pointed has solid solutions. One method in Italy is when a owner cannot pay his mortgage he is still given first choice to pay it off at a percent of the loan example he owes 100 thousand & files for bankruptcy. Law stipulates that the bank must allow him to pay back the loan at 40 thousand and get possession of the house and not allow the bank to throw him out and seize the property.
        Obama’s stimulus plan of trillions could have paid off all the mortgages currently held across the nation than bail out one big company which nevertheless went bankrupt as in Lehman brothers. Had he done that the nation would have been free of debt at a ground level and the effects would have been long lasting.

      • Marathon-Youth

        In that light of an economy geared against the common man and I am not even including new tech as is Robots, a basic check on top of earnings or pensions is not that bad. If it is we can phase it out.

        • Joe Eagar

          A check won’t make the economy fair. It can’t repeal land use rules. At worst, all it will serve to do is reinforce our growing system of class apartheid.

          • Marathon-Youth

            True but our economy has been restructured for the benefit of the few. I commented on that in the below reply

  • Fat_Man

    Even as distinguished and conservative a social scientist as Charles Murray has advocated UBI. But, I am truly horrified by it. I think the consequence of enacting it will be a wave of drug overdose deaths that will make the current catastrophe look like a day at the beach.

    I pray we never become that debased.

  • Jonathan Dembo

    UBI sounds like just another scheme for politicians and their bureaucrat pals to take money from people who don’t vote for them so that they may give it to people who do vote for them (and keep bunches of it for themselves).

  • Jim__L

    The longer I live, the wiser certain authors get, CS Lewis chief among them. I can’t find the quote right now, but there’s one from “A Horse and His Boy”, I think, where one of the horses thinks he knows everything about what a horse is capable of — but as with most of his vanities, he doesn’t actually figure out how fast he can run until he’s chased by a lion.

    From lived experience, I can tell you that the pressure to make a living, pay a mortgage, put food on the table — knowing that all these things *will not happen* without effort from you — gets you more impressive results than freedom from that pressure.

    A hundred years ago, UBI would have spawned countless millions of bad poets, and that’s about it. Nowadays, it would likely spawn countless millions of Online Gaming addicts, and no more.

    • Everett Brunson

      And a dozen daily sob stories by the MSM of those who gambled their daily UBI away and that more is needed to help them.

    • Boritz

      …spawn countless millions of Online Gaming addicts, and no more.

      True unless you consider that it would simultaneously spawn millions of voters for the party of big governmentl; which is a feature not a mistake.

  • Boritz

    “The only way out of our economically stagnant present is for more young Americans and Europeans to take on risks, instead of playing it safe.”

    Take on risks? What do you call taking on six figures in college debt for diplomas of dubious value?

  • Peddler

    I think the real risk in a plan like UBI or any plan that is similar is when it fails to feed, house and care for the needs of the dumb, fat and lazy the central control will not let them suffer or die. Without a price to be paid for the individual’s failure nothing will work. You can’t fix stupid.

  • Trajan Fanzine

    First- I am astonished this tripe came from a member of AEI…
    Second- I am remembering a Pelosi comment re: adults having their medical coverage covered by their parents plans so they can ‘chase their muse’….
    Third- high school reading…..”humanity has evolved into two separate species: the Eloi and the Morlocks, whereof the Eloi live a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth, while the Morlocks live underground, tending machinery and providing food, clothing, and inventory for the Eloi……”

  • Stephen Stillwell

    “Instead of recoiling at the idea of a redistributive state, a grand bargain that preserves democratic capitalism while providing its benefits to everybody can provide a new agenda for the center Right and an alternative both to cozying up to intolerant nationalism and to ineffectual attempts to confront it directly.”

    The modest bargain I suggest simply includes each equally in money creation.

    There is no ‘democratic capitalism’ to preserve. For that to exist, each must be enfranchised in capitalism, in the global economic system…

    And that is global economic enfranchisement..

  • PierrePendre

    Before he emigrated from the real world, Paul Krugman said (in an NYT column in the early 2000s) that the welfare state and open borders were an impossible combination. Ditto UBI and open borders. Jean-Paul Juncker, the president of the EU Commission, answered critics of free migration recently by saying that that Europe’s future lay in the continued importation of population from MENA and sub-Saharan Africa and that all of its social and development policies were geared to that aim. Advocates like Rohac always claim that UBI could more or less pay for itself because it will subsume existing welfare payments and the “elimination of waste”, the sort of thing that politicans can and do parrot on auto-pilot when they want to spend more tax dollars. One senses without much need for analysis that this is counter-intuitive. Even if UBI were financially feasible, it would depend on people who currently depend on welfare to survive, and misspend it, to suddenly become financially responsible and do without a government safety net. We are talking here about millions of people who routinely game the system with the complicity of the state. The idea that under UBI, the liberal state would keep its promise to let the failures sink or swim alone is laughable. In Europe alone, Welfare will not disappear with UBI.

    Millions of immigrants originate from the underclass in their own countries and join the underclass of their new hosts. They will be unemployable because they lack skills and language through the first and second generations. Meanwhile, those who do have skills and languages will be a net loss to the development prospects of their home countries, a negative and selfish factor that the liberal Junckers always leave out. The underlying intention of UBI is that it should be part of the huge transfer of wealth from the haves to the have-nots that was a feature of attempts to flatten society by social liberalism and socialism throughout the 20th century. This was done mainly through taxation systems designed to cripple high earnings and was interrupted, only temporarily, by the move to lower taxes initiated by JFK and which became one of the corner stones of Thatcherism. The flatteners have been fighting ever since to drive taxes back up – see the fury generated by the Bush and Trump tax cuts – and UBI is their latest weapon. The aim of UBI is not a more dynamic economy but a coercedly more equal one which rewards takers at the expense of doers. It’s another mass social experiment just as Soviet communism was and has much the same objectives couched in the softer language and beguiling obfuscations of liberalism.

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